Apple is considering an investment in social media giant Twitter according to reports, with the technology company looking to broaden its social network field.

The New York Times believes Apple, which has been extremely successful in creating hardware and the app, music and movie iTunes platform, has had little influence in social networks.

“Apple has considered an investment in the hundreds of millions of dollars, one that could value Twitter at more than US$10 billion, up from an US$8.4 billion valuation last year,” The Times‘ sources said.

While the companies are not currently negotiating, early talks “are a sign that they may form a stronger partnership amid intensifying competition from the likes of Google and Facebook,” the report indicates.

However, reports from the Wall Street Journal contend the discussions were held more than a year ago, with little result.

“Apple and Twitter Inc. held discussions more than a year ago about Apple possibly making a strategic investment in the short-messaging service… The discussions between Apple and Twitter didn’t immediately result in a deal and aren’t currently active, people familiar with the matter say,” WSJ wrote.

“People close to Twitter have said that the San Francisco company is ahead of 2012 revenue projections laid out last year and that the company has largely ruled out acquisitions as it builds its business for a potential initial public offering in a year or so.”

However, if the NYT reports are correct the relationship could see a greater integration of Twitter into Apple’s iOS and Mac products.

New York Times believes that “such a deal would give Apple more access to Twitter’s deep understanding of the social web, and pave the way for closer Twitter integration into Apple’s products.”

Apple and Twitter have shared a close relationship in the past, with Twitter vice president, Kevin Thau working with Apple in a full time role and in an earlier interview, Twitter’s chief executive Dick Costolo said  “we think of [Apple] as a company that our company looks up to.”

Apple’s iOS 6 will feature increased Facebook and Twitter integration in Spring, when it is launched, while OS X Mountain Lion will receive a social networking update at the same time.


Originally published on Marketing‘s sister site Macworld.